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By February 17, 2014 4 Comments Read More →

Reading this could win you a free classic car book

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Did you know that the names of nine Spanish cities — Cordoba, Granada, Ibiza, Leon, Malaga, Marbella, Rondo, Seville and Toledo — have been appropriated by automakers for their own vehicles?

You no doubt know that England’s national racing color was green and Italy’s was red. You even may know that Spain’s was red with a yellow hood. But did you know the national racing color assigned to Jordan was brown, or that Egypt’s color was purple?

Neither did I until I spent a dollar Sunday to buy a copy of Chapman’s Car Compendium: The Essential Book of Car Facts and Trivia. When British auto writer Giles Chapman wrote his book in 2007, it cost $21.95 to buy a copy.

Seven years later, it carried a $2 sticker at the 58th annual VNSA (now known as the Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association but originally the Visiting Nurse Service Auxiliary association) Used Book Sale in the huge Exhibit Hall at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.

There are somewhere around half-a-million books available at the sale, and all of them have been separated into one of 27 categories to make finding what you want that much easier. I usually go to the sale Sunday after church, partly because the church I attend is 25 blocks east of downtown Phoenix and the fairgrounds is 19 blocks west of downtown, partly because on Sunday almost all the books are half price.

In addition to Chapman’s book of car facts, I bought a copy of Cars of the World in Color, by J.D. Scheel, translated by D. Cook-Radmore and illustrated by Verner Hancke.

I paid a whole $1.50 for this book but, after all, it is a first edition, begins with a 35-page historical survey of automotive history, has color illustrations of everything from an 1875 Markus to a 1962 Pontiac Tempest, and concludes with 10 gorgeous illustrations of famous auto races.

And even though I already have a copy, I also bought Driven: The American Four-Wheels Love Affair, because it was written (in 1977) by my former publisher and AutoWeek mentor Leon Mandel.

I also bought a book on the 1960 Rome Olympic Games, three books on baseball (including a collection of baseball stories by Zane Grey, the minor-league player turned Western novelist) and, as a gift for one of my daughters and her daughter, Clues for Real Life: The Classic Wit & Wisdom of Nancy Drew.

And for those eight books and the hours of enlightenment and entertainment they’ll provide, I spent a grand total of $7.50.

Actually, though, I’ll be spending a little more than that. As I mentioned, I already have a copy of Leon’s book, Driven. So here’s what I’m going to do: Use the comments section (Share your thoughts) below to share the title of your favorite automotive book and I’ll enter your name into a drawing. If you win, you’ll get my “barn-found” copy of Leon’s book.

Posted in: Commentary

About the Author:

A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the Web and becoming the author of more than 15 books. In addition to writing for ClassicCars.com, Larry oversees automotive enthusiast website iZoom.com, writes a weekly feature for The Detroit News, writes occasional articles for the The New York Times, and teaches as an adjunct member of the faculty at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

4 Comments on "Reading this could win you a free classic car book"

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  1. Steve Purdy says:

    My favorite car book is one I found on the bargain table at our Barnes and Noble store nearly 20 years ago. It’s called Power Behind the Wheel, by Walter J. Boyne former director of the National Air and Space Museum. The book is a beautifully designed and illustrated look at the history of automobile design and technology along with insights on the fascinating people around them. It is illustrated with plenty of historic black and white photos and as many artistic color shots by Lucinda Lewis.

  2. Mel easton says:

    My favorite book is care of automobiles by j.b. Edwards, 1922. I found it among my dad’s stuff, he passes down to me a 1918 paige touring car. The book had belonged to A.J. Bachman of Denver, at some time before my dad acquired it. It is full of good care and maintenance of really old Detroit iron.

  3. Frank Racibozynski says:

    Automobile Quarterly published several books loaded with history, information, pictures, and advertising art for classic and contemporary cars of interest to the enthusiast. It’s a tough call choosing between their “World of Cars” published in 1971 and their “Great Cars and Grand Marques” published in 1976, but I have to give a slight edge to “Automobile Quarterly’s World of Cars”. In that single book, one can gather an immense knowledge of the cars we love to see and yearn to own.

  4. Jack windt says:

    One of the most interesting auto biographys is the story of Eddie rickenbacher……this man did it all……….world war 1 ace, president of eastern air lines,early auto racer, spent many days on a lfe raft in the pacific during w.w.11., and even had a car named after him…….

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